Today was the start of a series of lessons I’m following at school. “Writing clearly and effectively”. I was looking forward to it, because I’m really interested in theory and practical stuff that can improve my writing, be it fictional or non-fictional (blog posts, reports, etc.). The course consists of four lessons in total, spread over four weeks, and it deals with things like writing strategies and writing in general.

I want to summarize the lessons and pass them on to you, because it might come in handy for you as well!

So here we go, part 1 of 4!

The lesson began with some practical information. Four lessons in total, with a final assignment which will be judged on five points: content, spelling, alinea-indeling, structure, and style. Some other practical stuff was mentioned as well, but that was school-related.

We had to write down three points involving writing:

  1. A point you’re strong/good at
  2. A point you have to improve on
  3. Your goal for this course (to see if the course helped you achieve this goal)

Next we discussed how one starts writing a text. A lot of different answers were given, but the main points were an idea/a plan/a goal/a reason to write and material/environment to write (like a pencil and paper).

The next topic was ‘four phases of the writing process‘. These are:

1. Exploration

– Brainstorming, looking for information, literature, and collecting/gathering facts (kinda like literature).

2. Preparation

– Orientation on different points:

  1. What’s the goal of your text: is it informative, persuasive, motivating, affective, instructive, etc.
  2. Your audience/target group: you should keep some things in mind regarding your audience: age, style, pre-knowledge (what do they already know?), and interests.
  3. Style (of writing): you shouldn’t write in a formal manner when your audience is younger than 12 years old.
  4. Content: which information will I use? Which information will I leave out? What do I want to say/tell?
  5. Structure: paragraphs, what will your text look like, etc.

3. Execution

– In this part, you’re going to write the text/story (no further information was provided; pretty straightforward).

4. Examination

– Revising and editing your text. Assessing and evaluating (same as with Execution: no further information was provided; pretty straightforward)

After that, we had to think of a story/text we are going to write; the final product of the course.

The following ‘table’ was used:

– What’s the subject of your story/text?

Goal: informative? …?

Content: what will be in it? What will you write/say/tell?

Structure: how will it look?

Style: choice of words, has to fit with the audience/target group and subject you chose. For example: when you’re writing about a movie, it can be a bit more casual/playful.

That was it for the first lesson and the first part! I hope you got something out of it.

See you next time!

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